Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, once called by his supervisor “easily the best Intelligence professional of any service,” has asked a federal judge to further delay his sentencing for lying to the FBI.
Flynn had a sentencing hearing on Dec. 18 where U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan agreed with the defense to give Flynn more time to continue in his cooperation with a case in Virginia against two of his former associates, who face charges for concealing that they lobbied in the United States on behalf of Turkey.
Back then, Sullivan asked both sides to give him a status report on March 13. In the report, Flynn requested a further delay.
“At this time, the defendant continues to request a continuance since the case in [the Eastern District of Virginia] has not been resolved, and there may be additional cooperation for the defendant to provide pursuant to the plea agreement in this matter,” according to the status report.
The prosecutors, from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, took no position on the request, and said that “while the defendant remains in a position to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, and could testify in the [Virginia] case should it proceed to trial, in the government’s view his cooperation is otherwise complete.”
Flynn has extensively cooperated with government prosecutors on multiple investigations and further cooperation will give him yet more grounds to ask for a lenient sentence. Even before the delay, the prosecutors were asking for a low sentence, including no prison time, while the defense wanted no more than a year of probation and community service.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place when President Barack Obama imposed additional sanctions on Russia in December 2016. He also pleaded guilty to lying about asking Russia to vote against or delay the vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Finally, he pleaded guilty to lying about his foreign lobbying disclosures regarding the extent to which his work benefiting the Turkish government was overseen by that government. Foreign lobbying paperwork violations are seldom prosecuted. Flynn said the work started in August 2016. He shut down his lobbying firm in November 2016.
As part of the deal, Flynn was only charged with lying to the FBI and not with lying about the lobbying disclosures.
His two associates in the Turkey deal, Bijan Rafiekian and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, face charges for conspiring to act as unregistered foreign lobbyists and for lying about foreign lobbying disclosures. Alptekin was also charged with lying to the FBI.
Flynn ran his lobbying company, Flynn Intel Group, with Rafiekian.
His son, Michael Flynn Jr., also worked for the company, but he isn’t mentioned in the Virginia case.
In November 2017, NBC News reported that Flynn’s son was implicated in the Turkey lobbying case and “could be indicted separately or at the same time as his father, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.”
“If the elder Flynn is willing to cooperate with investigators in order to help his son, two of the sources said, it could also change his own fate, potentially limiting any legal consequences,” the report stated.
Flynn’s plea agreement includes no mention of Flynn Jr.
The Mueller team may have used the threat of indicting the son as leverage and cut Flynn an under-the-table deal on the matter, opined former FBI agent and Epoch Times contributor Marc Ruskin.
“It would be done with a wink and a nod,” he said in a phone call, later adding that “it wouldn’t be binding, but it would be like an understanding.”
Such a deal would be “unethical,” Ruskin said.
“To twist the father’s arm with regard to his child is a pretty low thing to do, but we’ve seen low things done in these cases.”